Des Moines Public Library Board of Trustees
The Des Moines Public Library Board of Trustees is appointed by the Mayor of Des Moines, with the approval of the City Council. The five-member board determines and adopts policies that govern the operation and program of the Library, including personnel policies and policies governing the selection of library materials, supplies and equipment.
Meet the DMPL Board of Trustees
Isobel Osius graduated from the University of Wyoming with degrees in accounting and English literature and holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Temple University. She worked as a custom research director and marketing database director for Conde Nast Publications in New York City for more than eighteen years. In 2002, she joined Meredith Corporation where she served as an editorial researcher until her retirement in 2007. In her spare time, she likes to read and travel.
Jennifer Fiihr works part-time as the Human Resources Director for the Iowa Democratic Party. She served as the legislative liaison for the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals and also worked for the Iowa Department of Public Safety. For two years, Fiihr worked in Washington, DC, for U. S. Senator Tom Harkin and as a budget analyst for Obama for America during the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. She is active in the Downtown School PTA where she has served as co-vice president and currently coordinates the Scholastic Book Fair. She is also a member of the Plymouth Nursery School Board and a member of the Friends of the Franklin Avenue Library. Fiihr is a graduate of Drake University with a B. A. in history and political science. She and her husband Dean live in Des Moines with their children Lily, Owen, and Eliza.
Bob Mahaffey joined the Library Board of Trustees in 2017 after spending 12 years serving as a City Council Member. A long-time executive at Anderson Erickson Dairy and resident of the city’s east side, Mahaffey played a role in building the current East Side Library. Mahaffey says he’s a supporter of libraries and recognizes the importance of the role libraries play in our community.
Mayor Frank Cownie appointed Wes Graham to the Des Moines Public Library’s Board of Trustees in September 2014. In accepting the appointment, Graham shared what a strong impact the library had on his own growth and education. He has “great memories of growing up here and going, seemingly every week, to the public library.” He looks forward to serving on the board and believes that “the public library system is extremely important to the cultural growth of a city like Des Moines.”
A Des Moines native, Graham has a law degree from the University of Minnesota. After working for seven years with a law firm in Minneapolis, MN and watching his hometown grow and evolve, he decided to return to Des Moines. Graham worked at Graham, Ervanian, & Cacciatore for six years. He currently works at Duncan Green Law Firm.
Jule Thorsen has served on the Des Moines Public Library Board of Trustees since 2005. Thorsen has twice received the Excellence in Adult Teaching award (in 2000 and 2005) from Alpha Lambda Sigma, an adult student honorary society, and served as building committee co-chair for Monroe Elementary School in Des Moines, the first school building project completely paid for with sales tax monies. She has also served on the Beaverdale Little League Board, Beaverdale Neighborhood Association Board of Directors, was treasurer for Central Iowa Aquatics and has been an active volunteer in Des Moines schools, the PTA, and Faith Lutheran Church.
Thorsen is a graduate of Drake University with a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Public Administration. She currently lives in Des Moines with husband Robert, and children Michael, Kelly, Eric, and Alan.